As the seasons change from summer to fall, books about nature remind us of the beauty of the outdoors.

“Discover the Seasons” by Diane Iverson, Dawn Publications, 2012, Ages 3-7.

Modeled after the song “Over in the Meadow”, this counting book uses rhyme to teach about animals and their babies. Colorful collage illustrations invite young readers to count the baby animals on each page while learning the names of baby animals, such as joeys, kits, and hatchlings. Nature books are a specialty of Dawn Publications, a publication company which is “dedicated to inspiring in children a deeper understanding and appreciation for all life on Earth”.

“Birdsong” by Ellie Sandall, Egmont, 2011, Ages 2 and up.

One after another, various birds join each other on a tree branch, each one singing its own bird song, until the branch begins to bend and their beautiful songs come to a halt. Bird lovers young and old will enjoy the different songs from each bird and will want to sing along. The author was inspired by trips to an aviary, where she enjoyed listening to the different bird sounds being woven together into a bird conversation.

“Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own BackYard” by Loree Griffin Burns, Illustrations by Ellen Harasimowicz, Henry Holt, 2012, Ages 8 and up.

A citizen scientists use senses and observation to study their corner of the world, and this book provides information for a study of fall butterflying, winter birding, spring frogging, and summer ladybugging. Beautiful color photographs and interesting descriptions provide information, along with demonstration of scientific observation techniques such as catching and tagging monarch butterflies. Helpful suggestions for additional reading from books and websites are also provided.

“Nature’s Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats” by Mary Miche, Illustrated by Consie Powell, Dawn Publications, 2012, Ages 4-8.

The analogy of a patchwork quilt is used to help teach readers about the interdependence of animals and nature. “Each plant or animal depends on others, like a quilt stitched together.” Small drawings of animals are connected to form a patchwork path through habitat scenes. Through simple words and detailed images, readers learn about the beauty and mystery of nature.

Books about nature encourage readers to gain an appreciation for the great outdoors.

Reviews and photo by Elizabeth Dobler